This autumn it’s time to indulge your animal instinct, bring that leopard into this concrete jungle and let the world (or at least Donny) hear you roar. The leopard print trend has most certainly used up its nine lives, walking the line between flashy and luxurious at every feral turn - but it’s proven time and again that the fashion world goes truly wild (sorry, there’s going to be A LOT of puns in this post) for this print. What’s more, this season sees it return in a bigger and better way than it ever has before. Just look around and you’ll see nearly 1 in 4 women having some sort of animal embellishment on her person. Yes it’s not just leopard anymore, they’ve brought some friends - think tigers, zebras and even snakes – its utter jungle madness!
I didn’t believe this until I tried it for myself, but the best thing about animal prints is that despite their bold appearance you can treat them like any black item in your wardrobe. Thanks to their often-neutral tones you can wear them and feel as if you’re standing out or blending in, go outrageous or subtly casual, appear more mature or more youthful. You can even clash different animal prints together with ease.
Spring 2018 saw some of fashions heavyweights kick off this untamed trend. Dior, Versace, Prada, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent were soon followed by even more offerings in the recent autumn 2018 collections. Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenburg and Michael Kors have all added their visions to the pile, and now these beasts have bounded down to the high street.
Here’s where I come in. I stalked the Frenchgate Centre to hunt down the very best high street buys so you don’t have to. The widest selections come from River Island, New Look and Debenhams who provide endless options and colour ways (animal print in shades of red is becoming a BIG thing this time around). From subtle accents within a slogan t-shirt, to bodysuits, blouses and basic tees whose every inch is covered in animal print. Bags are made of snakeskin, pony skin and even furry materials. Dress the trend up or down with heels and dresses or trainers and jeans. Whatever you want adorned in animal print - you are guaranteed to find it in these shops. Topshop, H&M, Quiz and Next also have some amazing designs in the form of coatigans, those floaty knee length wrap skirts you’ve seen popping up all over Instagram, denim minis with matching jackets, jumpsuits anda horde of co ords.
Want to be part of a more understated pack? Topshop and New Look have belts, scarves, hats and hairpieces that can give you an on trend edge without having to go the whole hog. While smaller shops Amon and Garage Shoes offer snakeskin handled bags and animal printed heels.
Not to be left out, men and boys clothing takes inspiration from Carolina Herrera’s collection that was adorned with the entire image of a big cat, rather than the print. H&M and River Island have some really cool options like this.
Girls can dress like their mums but with an added sports-luxe accent to make it age appropriate, check out Debenhams, H&M and River Island.
Whether it’s a coat, a bag or a statement belt, I swear animal print is like wearing a red lip. It instantly elevates any outfit and always looks absolutely flawless. Go on and try it for yourself… Welcome to the jungle!